PASCO COUNTY, Fla.West Central Florida County Health Departments and the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC) are celebrating Black Breastfeeding Week 2022 (BBW22) from August 2531. This year’s theme is Black Breastfeeding Week 2022: 10 years, a new foundation.

For more on why we need to recognize BBW22, visit: Top Five Reasons We Need a Black Breastfeeding Week ¬ęBlack Breastfeeding Week. There you will read about the high rates of black infant mortality, the lack of diversity in the field of lactation, along with cultural barriers among women of color.

West Central Florida County Health Departments are observing BBW22 by participating in the following events:

Hernando:

  • Thursday, August 25th from 7:00pm – 8:30pm Hernando WIC celebrates Black Breastfeeding Week and the end of World Breastfeeding Month with breastfeeding trivia, a Baby & Me photo shoot and special giveaways provided by Local FL West Coast Breastfeeding Task Force. All are welcome to attend, this is open to the public.
  • One at no cost Baby and Me Breastfeeding Support Groupheld every Thursday from 19:00-20:30. Open to the public and facilitated by certified lactation professionals, including a Board Certified International Lactation Consultant. This is held at 7551 Forest Oaks Blvd. Spring Hill, FL. Education is also provided in other areas such as car seat safety, pump flange assembly, infant CPR basics, safe sleep, babywearing, diaper removal and swimming safety.
  • A toll-free baby feeding line is available for families to call with questions about breastfeeding and bottle feeding. For more information call, 352-540-6924.
  • Free infant feeding and breastfeeding classes every Tuesday and Wednesday. 11:00am-12:30pm. 7551 Forest Oaks Blvd Spring Hill FL 34606 352-540-6924.
  • Free safe sleep classes and a portable crib offered by appointment at Hernando WIC call to schedule at 352-540-6924.

Manatees:

  • Manatee County is offering additional breastfeeding information at the main WIC clinic throughout the month of August, on top of regular breastfeeding education, counseling and support.

Pasco:

  • A Black Breast Feeding Week celebration will be held on Tuesday, August 30th from 6:00 PM to 7:30 PM at the Regency Branch Library, 9701 Little Rd, New Port Richey, FL.
  • WIC also offers free breastfeeding classes at WIC clinics throughout Pasco County. For an appointment or more information on a breastfeeding or infant feeding class, call 813-364-5818.

Pinellas:

  • Pinellas WIC Breastfeeding is the first in-person group in 2 years, 2n.d floor, meeting room 109-11-1 on Friday, August 26thcelebrating black mothers who breastfeed.

The theme of Black Breastfeeding Week 2022 (BBW22) encourages everyone to support and uplift one another. The new foundation of lactation support is built on racial equity, cultural empowerment and community engagement.

  • Improving the economy and reducing inequalities. Breastfeeding can help break the cycle of poverty for families, which affects hunger and malnutrition. Breastfeeding provides an equal start for everyone. With no additional burden on family income, breastfeeding is a low-cost way to feed infants and contributes to poverty reduction. Breastfeeding can also reduce costs for the health care system and employers by reducing the costs of hospitalizations, medications, and reducing absenteeism.
  • Lowers infant mortality rates of color. The high infant mortality rate among black babies is largely due to being born too small, too sick, or too soon..According to the CDC, increased breastfeeding among black women could reduce the infant mortality rate by up to 50%. Fewer non-Hispanic black infants (74.1%) are ever breastfed compared to Asian infants (90.8%), non-Hispanic white infants (85.3%), and Hispanic infants (83.0%).3

More: Facts | Breast feeding | CDC

  • Good health and prevents malnutrition, including undernutrition and overnutrition. Breastfeeding has positive lifelong health effects on babies, children and mothers, such as lower incidence of respiratory infections and ear infections for babies and children and reduced risk of breast and ovarian cancer for mothers. Breastfeeding also reduces the risk of childhood overweight and obesity compared to formula feeding.
  • Food security even in times of crisis. Breastfeeding ensures food security for infants early in life, contributes to food security for the entire family, and ensures food security for infants even in times of domestic or widespread disasters, such as hurricanes.
  • A positive impact on the health of the planet in several ways:
    • Breast milk is a sustainable and environmentally friendly resource.
    • Breastfeeding is readily available without the need for other supplies.
    • The production of breast milk does not require the use of energy for production and does not create waste or air pollution.

To protect breastfeeding:

  • Promoting the implementation of the Child Friendly Hospital Initiative.
  • Provide access to skilled breastfeeding counseling. Studies have shown that interventions to promote breastfeeding increase exclusive breastfeeding rates at 4-6 weeks and 6 months.
  • Encourage employers and communities to promote and protect breastfeeding by posting “We’re here to breastfeed” signs and by providing private areas for breastfeeding if this is a breastfeeding family’s preference.

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends exclusive breastfeeding for infants until age two, with the addition of appropriate complementary foods when the infant is developmentally ready, around 6 months of age.

To learn more about Black Breastfeeding Week, visit www.blackbreastfeedingweek.org. For more information about the Florida WIC program, call 1-800-342-3556 or visit www.FloridaWIC.org. To learn more about breastfeeding initiatives in Florida, visit www.flbreastfeeding.org, or West Coast Breastfeeding Task Force www.flwcbreastfeeding.org. To view the CDC’s Breastfeeding Report Card, visit, Breastfeeding Report Card | Breast feeding | CDC and for more on breastfeeding data, visit HERE.

For more information or questions, please contact your county health department.

DOH-Citrus

(352) 527-0068

DOH-Manat

(941) 748-0747

DOH-Hardee

(863) 773-4161

DOH-Pasco

(727) 619-0300

DOH-Hernando

(352) 540-6800

DOH-Pinellas

(727) 824-6900

DOH-Malesi

(863) 386-6040

DOH-Polk

(863) 519-7900

DOH-Hillsborough

(813) 307-8000

DOH-Sarasota

(941) 861-2900

About the Florida Department of Health

The department, nationally accredited by the Public Health Accreditation Board, works to protect, promote and improve the health of all people in Florida through integrated state, county and community efforts.

Follow us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter @HealthyPasco. For more information about the Florida Department of Health, please visit www.FloridaHealth.gov.

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